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LAAD 2011: US and Brazilian companies team for FAB radar project

13th April 2011 - 20:25 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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US defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin and Brazil's Atmos Sistemas announced at LAAD 2011 that they  have signed a teaming agreement to pursue the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB's) future 3-D long-range radar procurement programme, which seeks to upgrade and enhance air space control over the country.

The FAB has plans to modernise a network of more than 60 sensors, including ground-based long-range radars, which maintain security and air safety over the country. The radar part of the network is currently made up of between 12 and 14 old Thomson (now TRS) 2230 radars that have reached the end of their service lives.

Brazil plans to release a tender to replace the radars by the end of the year with the expectation that the FAB will place a contract for an initial batch of five replacement radars in the first quarter on 2012 with deliveries to begin in 2013.

Lockheed Martin MS2 is only one of the companies expected to tender and all have already made presentations to the Brazilian government. Other interested parties include Thales, Selex Galileo, Indra and Elta.

'We're looking at this from an affordability perspective and having the indigenous capability to service the radars is invaluable', Greg Larioni, Lockheed Martin’s vice president radar systems explained to Shephard.

'This agreement with Lockheed Martin is of high importance to Brazil as it will allow us to gain important technical knowledge in the area of 3-D medium and long-range solid-state surveillance radars,' said Claudio Carvas, CEO of Atmos Sistemas in a statement. 'Lockheed Martin and Atmos already have started the necessary actions to allow the growth of this partnership throughout Latin America.'

Lockheed will offer its TPS-77 for the tender. It is the latest configuration of its line of 3-D solid-state radar.  The systems provide continuous high-quality surveillance of airborne targets out to 250 nautical miles.

Six TPS-77 3-D solid-state transportable radar systems – known locally as the TPS-B34 and installed between 2001 and 2005 – already assist the FAB in conducting air surveillance and air traffic control missions in this airspace. 'That means the air force is familiar with our system and its capabilities,' Bob Wright, Lockheed Martin MS2's regional manager for the Americas, said.

In 2008 and again in 2010 the Brazilian government awarded Lockheed Martin contracts to maintain the radars. The company then contracted with Atmos Sistemas to provide logistics and other functions for the contracts.

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